This is the dish to make if you wish you could make New England Yam Bake, but it’s 85 degrees in your kitchen and anyway what you have handy is 2 cups of sweet potatoes that were sliced raw, frozen, and thawed (see the first Saturday of Three Weeks of Vegetarian Dinners for historical details) and now need to be used up because you thawed two 2-cup bags for Sweet Potato Burritos but the person following the instructions of your meal plan was very tired and used only the first bag he saw.
The flavor is very similar to New England Yam Bake. The texture is different, more like scalloped potatoes, because the sweet potatoes are in flat slices instead of big chunks and are not as soft as canned ones.
This could, of course, be made with canned sweet potatoes instead, in which case you’ll need to cook it just long enough to heat them.
To make 4 servings as a side dish, you will need:
- a glob of butter–about 1 Tbsp.
- 2 cups sliced sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar (less if using canned sweet potatoes–they are soaked in a sugary syrup)
- cinnamon to taste
- dash of salt
- a handful of nuts (walnuts or pecans are best)
- 4 pineapple rings, or about half a can crushed or chunked pineapple
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice from the can
- a handful of miniature marshmallows
- a saucepan just big enough to hold all ingredients, with tight-fitting lid
Melt butter in saucepan. Add sweet potatoes. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, at least 5 minutes until they are getting softer. Meanwhile, chop nuts. (Even if you grabbed the nuts out of a bag in the freezer, in a warm kitchen they will be soft enough to chop in no time.)
Stir in sugar, cinnamon, salt, nuts, pineapple, and juice. Try to keep pineapple rings intact while stirring. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, another 3 minutes. Remove a piece of sweet potato, let cool, then eat. If it is too crunchy, cook a little longer. If seasoning doesn’t taste right, add more of what is lacking. If sauce seems too thin, mix in a pinch of flour.
Stir one last time, carefully scraping the bottom of the pan. Scatter marshmallows across top surface of food and immediately put on lid. Turn off heat. Let stand at least 5 minutes so the marshmallows melt.